Best Buy Founder’s Family Foundation Donates $100,000 to Organization Fighting Deadly Cancer

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The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) announced today that the Richard M. Schulze’s Family Foundation donated $100,000 to the organization.

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo
In the last year, we saw a 44% increase of patients and family members seeking support. This gift comes at the right time to help us ensure that we can fulfill such a demand.

The family foundation of Best Buy founder, Richard M. Schulze, donated $100,000 to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation), half of which will be specifically directed toward the Meso Foundation’s Patient Travel Grant Program. The focus area of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation is to create grant partnerships with organizations that can generate transformational results in education, human services and health.

Mr. Schulze is the founder and chairman emeritus of Best Buy Co., Inc., the world’s largest multi-channel, consumer-electronic retailer.

“In the last year, we saw a 44% increase in patients and family members seeking support,” said the Meso Foundation’s chief executive officer, Melinda Kotzian. “This gift comes at the right time to help us ensure that we can fulfill such a demand.”

Mr. Schulze’s connection to mesothelioma is a personal one. In 2001, he lost his wife Sandra to mesothelioma. His current wife, Maureen, also lost her first husband to the same cancer.

The Patient Travel Grant Program, one of the programs directly funded by the Schulze gift, provides a one-time grant of up to $1,000 to cover expenses incurred by a patient (exceptions made for recurring clinical trial visits). This $1,000 grant can cover the costs of travel, lodging and meals. To receive a grant, patients are required to complete an application and document significant financial need. The grant is paid by check directly to the patient.

This program is a crucial part of the services provided by the Meso Foundation. Mesothelioma treatment requires the expertise of a specialist who has extensive mesothelioma experience. Such experts are available at a limited number of centers, access to which often requires the patient to travel. Mesothelioma patients can greatly benefit from consulting with an expert. In many cases, the mesothelioma expert will be able to work with the patient’s local physicians to guide them through a more specialized treatment.

“We believe that every patient should have the chance to be seen by an appropriate mesothelioma expert, regardless of their ability to pay,” added Ms. Kotzian. “Our Foundation and the entire mesothelioma community are infinitely grateful to the Schulze Family for their generous gift and belief in the work of the Meso Foundation.”

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. With the life expectancy of less than one year after diagnosis, medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. An estimated one-third of those who develop mesothelioma were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in shipyards. Currently, few treatment options exist. There is no cure.

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer-reviewed scientific research to develop life-saving treatments for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $9 million to research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.
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Maja Belamaric
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
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